PCSSD - 4.55P Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students

4.55P Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students

A disservice is done to students through social promotion and is prohibited by state law. The District shall, at a minimum, evaluate each student annually in an effort to help each student who is not performing at grade level. Parents or guardians shall be kept informed concerning the progress of their student(s). Notice of a student’s possible retention or required retaking of a course shall be included with the student’s grades sent home to each parent/guardian or the student if 18 or older. Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged and may be held as necessary in an effort to improve a student’s academic success.

At least once each semester, the parents and teacher(s) of a student in kindergarten through eighth (8th) grade shall be notified in writing of the student’s independent grade-level-equivalency in reading.

Any grades, course credits, and/or promotions received by a student while enrolled in the Division of Youth Services system of education shall be considered transferable in the same manner as those grades, course credits, and promotions from other accredited Arkansas public educational entities.

Students graduating in 2011 and after will meet the following requirements: A student in grade (9) must have a minimum of five (5) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade ten (10). A student must have (10) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade eleven (11), and fifteen (15) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade twelve (12).

At the middle school level, a student is expected to progress annually from grade to grade. A student that has not passed both semesters of language arts and math, and does not have two or more passing semester grades in either science and/or social studies shall be referred to the retention committee. However, if in the judgment of the professional staff, a student is at risk of not reaching proficiency in sufficient basic skills to be potentially successful at the next grade level, the local school retention committee will be convened.

This committee will look at all available data and determine the grade placement that is in the best educational interest of the student. Data examined will include but not be limited to: teacher recommendation, medical history, grades, work samples, prior educational history, age and attendance.

The committee decision will be explained by the principal and teacher to parents of the students. A modification plan, attached to the student success plan (SSP), will be created for each retained student that is reviewed by the retention committee.

At the elementary school level, the school shall, at a minimum, evaluate each student annually in an effort to help students who are not performing at grade level. Parents or guardians shall be kept informed concerning the progress of their student(s).

Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged and may be held as necessary in an effort to improve a student’s academic success. If a student is to be retained in a grade, notice of retention and reason will be communicated promptly. Each elementary/middle school shall have a biracial retention committee composed of:

  • Counselor assigned to student
  • Principal or assistant principal
  • Classroom teacher(s) who currently work with the student or core team
  • Additional teachers (for example one on the student’s grade level and one from the next grade level)
  • Instructional Coaches in the school (Math, Literacy)
  • A 504/special education representative (if applicable)
  • The student’s parent(s) or guardian(s)

In order to determine promotion or retention of a student, the retention school-based committee shall meet with the parents/guardians, teachers, principal, and other pertinent personnel. The committee conference shall be held at a time and place that best accommodates those participating in the conference. The school shall document participation or non-participation in required conferences. Promotion or retention, as discussed by the committee, shall be primarily based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • School attendance
  • Achievement test scores (CRT)
  • Physical maturity and age
  • Social and emotional maturity
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Light’s Retention Scale instrument
  • Medical history
  • Work samples
  • Prior educational history

Any unusual or extenuating circumstances shall be processed through the principal. Parents or guardians may appeal the promotion/retention by requesting a hearing with the building level principal. The building level decision to promote/retain may be appealed to the Director of Elementary or Secondary Education.

Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, each student 8th grade and beyond shall have a student success plan (SSP) developed by school personnel in collaboration with the student’s parents and the student that is reviewed and updated annually. A student’s SSP shall use multiple academic measures to personalize learning in order for students to achieve their grade-level expectations and individual growth. The SSP will identify if the student is in need of additional support or acceleration. Academic measures to be used in creating and updating a student’s SSP shall include, but are not limited to:

  • Statewide student assessment results;
  • Subject grades;
  • Student work samples; and
  • Local assessment scores.

By the end of grade eight (8), the student’s SSP shall:

  • Guide the student along pathways to graduation;
  • Address accelerated learning opportunities;
  • Address academic deficits and interventions; and
  • Include college and career planning components.

Based on a student’s score on the college and career assessment:

  • The student’s SSP will be updated in order to assist the student with college and career readiness skills, course selection in high school, and improved academic achievement; and
  • Provide a basis for counseling concerning postsecondary preparatory programs.

An SSP shall be created:

  1. By no later than the end of the school year for a student in grade eight (8) who is enrolled in the District, enrolls in the District during the school year; or
  2. As soon as reasonably possible for a student in grade nine (9) or above who enrolls in the District at the beginning or during the school year.

A student’s individualized education program (IEP) may act in the place of the student’s SSP if the IEP addresses academic deficits and interventions for the student’s failure to meet standards-based academic goals at an expected rate or level and includes a transition plan that addresses college and career planning components. 

Students who either refuse to sit for a Statewide assessment or attempt to boycott a Statewide assessment by failing to put forth a good faith effort on the assessment as determined by the assessment administrator/proctor, or whose parents do not send their student to school on the dates the assessments are originally administered or scheduled as make-up days shall not be permitted to participate in any non-curriculum related extracurricular activity, including school dances, prom, homecoming, senior events, and may be prevented from walking or participating in graduation exercises. The student shall remain ineligible to participate until the student takes the same or a following Statewide assessment, as applicable. The Superintendent or designee may waive this paragraph's provisions when the student’s failure was due to exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. Students falling under the provisions of this paragraph shall be permitted to attend curriculum related field trips occurring during the school day.

Cross References:

  • 3.30—PARENT-TEACHER COMMUNICATION
  • 4.56—EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES - SECONDARY SCHOOLS
  • 4.56.1—EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES - ELEMENTARY

Legal References: 

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2001
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2005
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2006
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2907
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2911
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-205
  • ADE Rules Governing the Arkansas Educational Support and Accountability Act
  • Murphy v. State of Ark., 852 F.2d 1039 (8th Cir. 1988)

Date Adopted:  03/08/66

Revised: 

  • 10/10/72
  • 03/13/84
  • 11/11/86
  • 07/10/90
  • 03/10/98
  • 03/12/02
  • 08/12/03
  • 06/13/06
  • 01/09/07
  • 03/10/09
  • 04/19/11
  • 02/05/13
  • 01/12/16

Last Revised:  10/16/17